It must be fun rooting about in other labels' back catalogues, it's clearly worthwhile as so many do so and for those that missed the original releases there can be little cause for complaint. I, for one, am more than happy that Eisenwald found this slice of static in THR's attic.
“Kampen Fortsaeter” harks back to the turn of the century first time around but that ANGANTYR sound is evident nonetheless, it is a little less focussed than “Sejr” (I've yet to hear Haevn,) but the raw fizz seduced by melody is there in abundance. The creative foundation is one of atmosphere rather than direct impact, this is story telling rather than diatribe, you get to hear who made the hammer, from what, who it was gifted to and why it was wielded, rather than just a description of it caving in a skull.
Those undulating melodies that colour the better-than-BURZUM buzz catch you in their net from the very start of “Stormen Fra Nord,” a melancholic sweep that confounds the simplicity beneath. The unhurried yet steady progress this and other songs achieve is enhanced by a rush for the harbour towards the end, there is a muffled dynamic that blurs the gathering of momentum but doesn't detract from its effectiveness. Some tracks have a cold groove core to them in the CARPATHIAN FOREST sense, here the emotive brush of the lead is replaced by more subtle cathedral keys that add to the, oftimes infernal, majesty.
There are three instrumentals on the album, all of which possessed of their own identity. The opening track is a stark introduction to the sodium riffing that persists throughout, whilst the final track on the original release, “Sidste Kapitel I En Endelos Fortaelling” languishes within a wretched motif that even the solid stomp of the drums can't brighten. Mid placed “ Inthedens Larm” is a totally ambient wash of flickering aurora and magnetosphere thrum, it's one of those tracks that you just lay back and shut your eyes to, drifting away oblivious of time, just as well as it goes on for nearly ten minutes.
Elsewhere, the simple piano and keys beginning to “I Der Knaeler I Ynk” barely hints at the frothing vigour that follows, that trademark building of the moment that ANGANTYR use to keep you in thrall, so that not only do you anticipate the fist in the face that's coming, you look forward to it. Whilst the abrasive nature of the rhythm guitar is maintained throughout and remains distinct, much of the rest of the instrumentation is cloaked by the fuzz, the slight smudging enhancing the organic qualities of the album, even the snarl of the vocals slightly morphs into the whole, though not to any detriment.
“Korset Ud Af Danmark” is a true bonus track, encapsulating all the best elements of the rest of the album. Melody, surges of pace, the thick atmosphere all demonstrate that using the words ANGANTYR and class in the same sentence will never result in an oxymoron, for so many this is what Black Metal is all about. The only negative point I can make is that seeing as I review re-releases in the here and now rather than as a historical document, I have to say that “Sejr” has the edge, which means nothing really considering what a fine album that is.
A solid endorsement to Eisenwald's endeavour then, let's see what other treasures they can unearth.
(Online July 10, 2007)